Abriendo Futuros (AF) is a girl-centered program aiming at improving the current and future life of Mayan adolescent girls (MAGs) in Yucatán. The program is built on the knowledge that young adolescent girls are agents of social change and strategic investments in them directly support the achievement of local and national development goals.
AF aims to improve the life conditions of MAGs through the implementation of the Council’s safe spaces model. Girls meet on a weekly basis with trained mentors to learn about different topics, develop core social and emotional life skills, and engage in activities with their peers. The overarching objective that guides the work of AF is to strengthen a repertoire of life skills, promote autonomy, and contribute to improvements in the quality of life for disadvantaged indigenous MAGs aged 10–18 years.Guatemala’s girl-centered project and conducted a quasi-experimental study to evaluate AF’s impact. During the second phase (2018–2021), the program’s objective was modified, and its curricular design improved.The implementation of AF has been characterized by three moments. First, the pilot phase (2015–2017), which adapted the curricula from
The implementation of this phase was interrupted by the outbreak of COVID-19. Although AF did not pause, the program focused its efforts on maintaining a community—in the midst of social distancing and technological difficulties—in times of uncertainty. The third phase (2022–2023) continues to implement safe spaces while paving the way, with the guidance of local organizations, to ensuring local ownership of the project by mentors.